Prospect Watch: JaCoby Jones Does Something That Hasn’t Been Done Since 1996


A look at how the current top 20 prospects did today.  Note that this list doesn’t include players currently in the majors. If a player is in the majors, he will be removed, everyone below him will be shifted up a spot, and a new player will be added to the bottom of the list. If a player is out for the season (Jameson Taillon #1, Clay Holmes #12), he will be removed and everyone below him will move up a spot. Removing these guys doesn’t mean they have lost prospect status. It is just an attempt to get 20 active prospects on the list. Rankings are from the mid-season top 20 update, and links on each name go to their Pirates Prospects player pages.

1. Tyler Glasnow, RHP, Bradenton – DNP

2. Austin Meadows, CF, West Virginia – 1-for-2, BB

3. Reese McGuire, C, West Virginia – 1-for-2

4. Nick Kingham, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

5. Alen Hanson, SS/2B, Altoona – 0-for-2, 3 BB, SB

6. Josh Bell, RF, Altoona – DNP

7. Harold Ramirez, OF, West Virginia – Disabled List (7/24 Update)

8. Cole Tucker, SS, GCL Pirates – 3-for-4

9. Luis Heredia, RHP, West Virginia – DNP

10. Mitch Keller, RHP, GCL Pirates – DNP

11. Adrian Sampson, RHP, Indianapolis – Promoted to Indianapolis

12. JaCoby Jones, SS, West Virginia – 2-for-6, 2 HR, BB

13. Casey Sadler, RHP, Indianapolis – DNP

14. Andrew Lambo, OF, Indianapolis – 2-for-4

15. Joely Rodriguez, LHP, Altoona – DNP

16. Michael De La Cruz, OF, GCL Pirates – 0-for-4

17. Trey Supak, RHP, GCL Pirates – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

18. Buddy Borden, RHP, West Virginia  – DNP

19. Stetson Allie, 1B, Altoona – 2-for-2, 2 BB

20. Gage Hinsz, RHP, GCL Pirates – 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR


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Top Pitcher: Trey Supak, RHP – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 2-for-6, 2 HR, BB

Home Runs: JaCoby Jones 2 (20), Kawika Emsley-Pai (3)



Box Score

Result: Toledo 11, Indianapolis 0

Starting Pitcher: Adam Wilk, LHP – 1.0 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Brent Morel, 3B – 2-for-4, 2 2B

Other Notable Performers:

Jake Brigham, RHP – 4.2 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3 HR

Andrew Lambo, LF – 2-for-4

Game Notes: Andrew Lambo picked up two hits, extending his hitting streak to six games, with four multi-hit games during that stretch. Lambo has a .342/.406/.540 line this season with Indianapolis in 187 at-bats. He would be an option for the majors if it wasn’t for the success Travis Snider has been having lately. He should be an option in a few weeks as a bat off the bench when rosters expand.



Box Score

Result: Altoona 4, Trenton 2

Starting Pitcher: Jhonathan Ramos, LHP – 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Andy Vasquez, LF – 3-for-4, BB, SB

Other Notable Performers:

Alen Hanson, 2B – 0-for-2, 3 BB, SB

Drew Maggi, 3B – 1-for-4, BB, SB

Stetson Allie, 1B – 2-for-2, 2 BB

Game Notes: Drew Maggi stole his 35th base of the season. Alen Hanson walked three times and added his 23rd steal of the year. Jhonathan Ramos followed up a strong start the last time out by giving up one run in 5.2 innings, with six strikeouts and two walks. Once again, he was very efficient, only needing 77 pitches to get through the outing.



Bradenton was postponed due to rain.



Game One Box Score

Result: West Virginia 5, Augusta 3

Starting Pitcher: Cody Dickson, LHP – 5.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: JaCoby Jones, SS – 2-for-4, 2 HR

Other Notable Performers:

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 2-for-3, 2B

Chris Diaz, 2B – 2-for-3

Game Notes: JaCoby Jones hit two home runs, giving him 20 on the year. He becomes the first Pirates minor league middle infielder to hit 20 homers in a minor league season since second baseman Craig Stansberry hit 21 between high-A and Double-A in 2005. He’s the first shortstop in the Pirates’ system who has hit 20+ homers since Chad Hermansen hit 24 while playing shortstop full-time in low-A and high-A in 1996. Jones has 17 stolen bases on the year, and with three more he could be the first Pirates minor leaguer to record a 20/20 season since Adam Boeve in 2007.

Game Two Box Score

Result: West Virginia 5, Augusta 3

Starting Pitcher: Felipe Gonzalez, RHP – 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Kawika Emsley-Pai, C – 1-for-3, HR

Other Notable Performers:

Edwin Espinal, 1B – 2-for-3, 2B

Austin Meadows, CF – 1-for-2, BB

Game Notes: Kawika Emsley-Pai hit his third homer of the year, helping West Virginia sweep a double-header. Edwin Espinal had a nice day, going 4-for-6 with two doubles, giving him 22 doubles on the season. Austin Meadows didn’t play in the first game, but went 1-for-2 with a walk in game two. Erich Weiss stole his 18th game of the year in game two.



Jamestown was postponed due to rain.



Box Score

Result: Kingsport 10, Bristol 4

Starting Pitcher: Omar Basulto, LHP – 3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR

Top Hitter: Pablo Reyes, 2B – 3-for-3, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Billy Roth, RHP – 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Candon Myles, LF – 2-for-4, SB

Game Notes: Billy Roth has been struggling this year in the rotation, and moved to the bullpen for an inning of relief tonight. That’s usually a move the Pirates make to allow a guy to get back on track and work on things. Roth is very raw, but has a lot of upside. There’s no way that the Pirates are giving up on him as a starter this early. Pablo Reyes had three hits, extending his hitting streak to six games. He’s been on fire lately, with a 1.225 OPS in 35 at-bats this month.



Box Score

Result: Phillies 3, Pirates 2

Starting Pitcher: Trey Supak, RHP – 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Cole Tucker, SS – 3-for-4

Other Notable Performers:

Gage Hinsz, RHP – 1.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 0 HR

Carlos Munoz, 1B – 1-for-4, 2B

Game Notes: Trey Supak had the best start of his young career, throwing five shutout innings. He started with four no-hit innings, before giving up a hit in the fifth. Gage Hinsz made his pro debut after signing for $580,000 as an 11th round pick. He didn’t have the best start, only lasting 1.2 innings and giving up two runs in his first inning of work. Cole Tucker had a three hit day, giving him his fifth multi-hit game in his last ten games. Carlos Munoz hit his 13th double of the year.



Box Score

Result: Angels 3, Pirates 2

Starting Pitcher: Richard Mitchell, RHP – 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 0 HR

Top Hitter: Eliezer Ramirez, RF – 2-for-3, BB

Other Notable Performers:

Jhoan Herrera, 1B – 2-for-4

Game Notes: The Pirates lost 3-2 to the Angels, dropping them one game below the .500 mark with nine games left in their season. They have officially been eliminated from the playoffs now. Richard Mitchell threw five innings, giving up three runs, all of which were unearned. In his last eight starts, Mitchell has not allowed an earned run in six of those games. In his last five starts combined, he has given up just one earned run. Mitchell has been on with his command all season, walking a total of 14 batters in 13 starts, never allowing more than two walks in any game. He lowered his ERA to 2.56 through 63.1 innings. The Pirates have DSL pitchers on strict pitch count limits, reaching 30 in an inning or 75 in a game and they are taken out. If they can get through five innings without reaching either of those totals, they are also taken out, no matter what their pitch count is at. Mitchell has completed all but 1.2 innings of a possible 65 innings all season. – John Dreker

You can check out the DSL Pirates week ten recap here.

Tim started Pirates Prospects in 2009 from his home in Virginia, which was 40 minutes from where Pedro Alvarez made his pro debut in Lynchburg. That year, the Lynchburg Hillcats won the Carolina League championship, and Pirates Prospects was born from Tim's reporting along the way. The site has grown over the years to include many more writers, and Tim has gone on to become a credentialed MLB reporter, producing Pirates Prospects each year, and will publish his 11th Prospect Guide this offseason. He has also served as the Pittsburgh Pirates correspondent for Baseball America since 2019. Behind the scenes, Tim is an avid music lover, and most of the money he gets paid to run this site goes to vinyl records.

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Pie Rat

I’ve never heard of Stansberry, Hermansen or Boeve so this probably is no indication Jones ability or his high side.


You should learn about Chad Hermansen. He was a repeated top 100 prospect in all of baseball, peaking at #13 before 1998. He is a great example of a guy with great tools but a high K rate/low BB rate who ended up busting. Brandon Wood is another case, that profile has a large bust rate. In the low minors it was remarked that Chad could “walk on water” and he put up huge minor league numbers with speed and power.


I am guarded about Jones. His K rate is so high for a kid that played in the SEC…and he is at Low A. Hoping he can stick at SS because the power has been incredible. If he can be an average SS you don’t mind if he only hits .230 if he is hitting 20 HR and 30 doubles a year. Still, I think he might end up being a Util with power off the bench. Hoping he can blow through High A and get to Altoona next year.

Lee Young

Here’s what Baseball Prospectus says about J Jones:

Jones is currently a shortstop who will likely be bumped into a utility role long-term with plus speed, athleticism, and raw power but an underwhelming feel for hitting. An athletic specimen, Jones boasts highly impressive physical tools but doesn’t project to play shortstop on a regular basis due to a weak arm, stiff hands, and questionable footwork at the position. While he possesses plus raw power at the plate, Jones has discernible holes in his swing and a power-hungry approach that will be exploited as he reaches the upper levels of the minors, limiting his in-game power to around average. Due to the concerns that he can’t stick at shortstop and the projected limited utility of the hit tool at the highest level, Jones fits a utility profile, one that can play up the middle and not be an absolute liability at shortstop or second base on a short-term basis. In addition, Jones possesses the physical profile to be at least average in center field, a position he has played in the past and will likely get another shot at in the near future.

The raw OFP averages to 45, which is a below-average regular. The projected role is a role-4 utility type who can play up the middle with plus speed and hit for some pop off the bench. The risk is high due to the swing-and-miss issues exhibited as a 22-year-old in Low-A. Though the hit tool has issues, he should be able to hit in the .220-.240 range. If the bat falls much lower than that, he becomes more of a AAAA player.


Yeah just saw those and posted the link, I’m curious what Tim thinks about them.


Are you serious? 4th OF, Bench Bat for Meadows? I don’t have any reason to believe that the write up had any specific agenda, but I hear much, MUCH higher praise on Meadows from just about everyone else. I mean, no prospect is guaranteed but wow. 4th OF projection. Yikes.

Lee Young

Tim rarely comments on what other scouts think. Scouts differ all the time on players. However, that somewhat negative writeup of Meadows was a first for me.

However, I think he is spot on with JJ….I’m not getting excited about him at all.


That Jones write-up is exactly what scouts were saying on draft day. Guy needs his swing overhauled, and apparently they have wasted two years waiting to do it.


Two very poor scouting reports on Jacoby and Meadows.

Tim, care to elaborate on why these might be wrong?

Lee Young

jalcorn….our posts passed in the night…..except I didn’t include Meadows’ report below.


Ok, so let’s say he starts in A ball next year and finishes in Altoona at the age of 24. Hypothetically he could start 2016 in AAA and be up sometime that year at the age of 25. So while I’m a little cautious given his age at Low A, it’s still nice to have ANY infield prospects.

Lee Young

“Richard Mitchell threw five innings, giving up three runs, both of which were unearned”

Now THAT’S something you don’t see everyday! 🙂


I thought we all agreed not to talk about Chad Hermansen.


Walks on water, … would have been interesting to read Tim’s review on Hermansen.

William Wallace

Hopefully Jones doesn’t go down the same path as Hermansen and Stansberry.


Or even Boeve. All 3 of those names (plus the fact that he’s old for the level) should give fans a lot of pause from getting too excited about JaCoby right now. If he’s doing it in AA at this point next year (or early 2016) then we got something.


took words from my mouth. college kid beating up on A ballers doesn’t usually translate. That was a Cam Bonifay tradition. Cunningham had 19 at AA last year as a 23 year old. Bucs need to work him hard at SS, keep him in FLA with the instructors, not in a carribean league picking up bad habits, then push him to Altoona next year. They did it with Allie and it is looking like a good decision.


Of all the middle infielders in the system I’m betting jones winds up being the best of the bunch. And watch out for cole tucker, I think that kid is going to be something special.


Allie’s BB% and K% seem to be moving in the right direction, respectively.


Lower K-rate than Jones – in a higher league – and twice the BB-rate.

Brian O'Donnell

I think Jacoby is setting himself up for a big jump in the prospect rankings. I hope he can stick at SS.


The fact that hes 23 in A ball, below average defense and terrible plate patience suggests hes got a long way to go, even with the power and speed. If he goes up a level each year that would put his rookie year at 27. I think a whole offseason at short will improve the defense, but the plate patience needs to be watched.


This game showed the good and the bad of Jacoby. Two home runs, two strikeouts. He’s already ranked 12, or 14 if you count Taillon and Holmes. I don’t see him going up much, if at all.

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